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Virginia: Guide

to going places

The Homestead Greece Colonial Williamsburg Blandford

Summer trips: Virginia Lighthouses







Accomack County


lighthouse was first built in 1833 but was inadequate. It was partially

rebuilt in 1866, with a first-order Fresnel lens added. The lighthouse

now uses twin rotating beacons and the Fresnel lens is being restored

for permanent display at the Oyster and Maritime Museum in Chincoteague.

Its beacon can be seen 19 miles out to sea. Painted in red and white horizontal

stripes around 1965, this brick tower reaches 145 feet in height and has

a focal plane of 154 feet above sea level. The spiral staircase has 172


Assateague Lighthouse stands in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge,

adjacent to the Assateague Island National Seashore, and warns ships of

treacherous shoals that lie off the barrier islands. Although the public

can visit the site the structure itself is not normally open for touring.

It is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and remains an active aid to navigation.

There is a small fee to enter the refuge.

Telephone: (757) 336-6155


Lifesaving Station

24th Street and Boardwalk

Virginia Beach


situated in the adjacent 24th Street Park and rotated 90 degrees. This

is one of the last surviving Coast Guard Life Saving Stations in Virginia.

It was located between the Cape Henry Station and the Dam Neck Mills Station

(both no longer exist). In later years it was called the Virginia Beach

Station. Currently, it is known as the Old Coast Guard Station Museum

and Gift Shop.

The Old Coast Guard Station is housed in a 1903 Life-Saving / Coast Guard

Station. There are two floors of exhibits. The old boat room, the Lower

Gallery, tells the story of the Life-Saving Service. Exhibits show rescue

equipment and methods and change regularly.

Telephone: (757) 422-1587


Cape Henry Lighthouse

Off Route 60

Virginia Beach


lighthouse was the first authorized by the First U.S. Congress. It is

the third oldest lighthouse still standing in the U.S. and is the oldest

on the Chesapeake Bay. The lighthouse is a 90-foot octagonal sandstone

tower and is not painted. In 1857 a first-order Fresnel lens was added

and a brick lining was built inside the tower for reinforcement. Confederate

raiders destroyed the lens, but it was replaced in 1863. In 1870 the tower

began to crack and a replacement was built.

It was finally decommissioned in 1881, and the new lighthouse was built

only 357 feet to the southeast. The military built a small bunker under

the hill on which the lighthouse stands. You can see the entrance to the

bunker on the back side facing away from the beach. In 1928 the Army used

the lighthouse as an observation post. The lighthouse is open to the public

and is maintained by the Association

for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.

Old Point Comfort

Fort Monroe



lighthouse overlooks the entrance of Hampton Roads and is the second oldest

on the Chesapeake. Built in 1802, the lighthouse is a 54-foot octagonal

stone tower. The staircase inside is completely made of stone. It was

automated in January 1973 and has a 12 second flashing light with red

and white sectors. The keeper’s house is currently a private residence.

British troops briefly captured the lighthouse and used it as a watch

tower during the War of 1812. The lighthouse once had a fog bell. The

lighthouse is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and is not open to the

public, but it can be viewed from the street.


(757) 727-3391


Virginia Department of Tourism; www.oldcoastguardstation.com; U.S. Coast